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New water pipeline will help stabilize Kyle's supply and keep up with growth

A water tower has the word "Kyle" on it in the City of Kyle.
Gabriel C. Pérez
KUT News
A water tower emblazoned with the town's name in Kyle, Texas

A new water pipeline being built will help the City of Kyle with persistent drought and the city’s growth. Kyle already has four sources it draws its water from. The new pipeline will draw water from a fifth source: the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer.

The city will tap into this new pipeline as soon as early 2025. The city currently has about 5.7 million gallons of water to use per day and uses about 4.6 million of them, according to the city. The pipeline will add about 1.7 million gallons of water per day to Kyle’s supply, said Mike Murphy, the city’s director of water utilities.

“Hopefully, with the water we’ve got coming in in February, [we will be] much further along and won’t have to worry about water restrictions [as much],” Murphy said.

Kyle has been in a Stage 3 drought since September 2023. To make up the difference, Kyle has bought water from San Marcos for three years.

“We anticipate that within the next five or six years, we will be drawing about half of our water supply from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer,” Lauralee Harris, Kyle city council member, said.

Harris said that when the new pipeline becomes active, Kyle plans to stop buying water from San Marcos. With that said, the city will still use the Edwards Aquifer, which San Marcos and other neighboring cities rely on as well. She said there might be a need to buy water from San Marcos if the drought persists.

“We are all drawing from the same water sources,” Harris said. “Collaboration between the entities in Hays County is absolutely critical so that we can decide how much water in the future we’re going to use and how that will be allocated."

While the new pipeline will increase the amount of available water, the city is continuing its water conservation practices for residents and businesses.

There are limits on residential lawn watering and requirements for businesses to use only water-conserving native plants on their properties. In addition, businesses are using recycled water through a purple pipe systems. Purple pipes carry wastewater that gets processed and can be re-distributed for freshwater use.

But there have been questions about whether or not water restrictions work in Texas.

What you should know about the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer

The main local water source, the Edwards Aquifer, has been fluctuating due to the region’s drought. The aquifer is a primary source of drinking water for over 1.7 million people in the region and stretches across 11 counties.

The Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer is far from local. It runs from Big Bend to Louisiana, and several major cities tap into its supply. The aquifer is projected to provide water for Kyle for about 50 years, according to the Alliance Regional Water Authority.

Harris said she worries the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer will struggle to keep up because it recharges considerably slower than the Edwards Aquifer.

“That [issue] has been anticipated, and everybody is looking into this problem,” Harris said.

Conservation efforts will continue despite more water

Murphy said the 1.7 million gallons will help the city in 2025, but he expects the amount of water allocated to the City of Kyle from ARWA could increase after 2025, which would also help the city keep up with growth.

Until then, Kyle is working on a water master plan to give to residents on best practices for water conservation, Murphy said. They predict that it will be completed by early 2025.

“Water conservation is just a way of life,” Murphy said. “You don’t realize how much water you waste. That doesn’t mean there’s no water, but we just need to be water-wise on how we use it.”

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